SCOTTISH seafood companies head to the Boston expo this weekend to try to increase their overseas market share.
The seven firms attending Seafood Expo North America, from March 11-13, include Dawnfresh, Wester Ross Salmon, the Scottish Salmon Company, Loch Fyne and Scottish Seas – a collective of Scottish fishermen catching for the US market.
Chef, author and Edinburgh restaurant owner Mark Greenaway will be joining the Scottish delegation for the third year, hosting daily cooking demonstrations and dedicated pairing experiences at the Seafood Scotland stand.
Leading the Scottish presence is Seafood Scotland, whose head, Patrick Hughes, stressed the importance of innovation in the export market.
‘Scotland has some of the best fish and shellfish in the world, and we know that preparing it simply allows the true quality to shine through, but tastes in other markets can be very different.
‘Scottish seafood companies need to take note and adapt accordingly, while still retaining the authenticity of the raw product.
‘The ‘quality sells itself’ adage doesn’t necessarily hold true any longer – innovative and tailored taste options, astute marketing approaches and smart use of market data all have a huge part to play in growing our exports, ensuring Scotland can stand up against intense competition from other seafood exporting countries.
‘Developing the product, whether through flavour variations or by ensuring high levels of sustainability and authenticity, and creating bespoke marketing tactics that appeal to international buyers is the direction of travel for many savvy suppliers.
‘If more of Scotland’s seafood suppliers broaden their approach to suit, we stand to increase Scotland’s share of the world market.’
Innovation need not be limited to the taste of the product, but reaches into presentation and marketing too, said Raleigh Salvesen, Dawnfresh sales manager.
‘We are also developing new marketing approaches to speak to specific markets in their own language, and to see how our brand fits with the expectations of particular markets.
‘Furthermore, going beyond the deal, working collaboratively with our trade customers to help them market our products to their own customers is another way in which we boost our international sales.’
Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive designate of Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, said: ‘With the USA being the largest single market for Scottish salmon, it is exciting to see new innovations being showcased for some of the world’s most important buyers.
‘Scottish provenance and high quality standards are key to salmon’s export success. Demonstrating our Scottish talent for innovation and product development in Boston will boost our excellent reputation in the USA.’
Seafood Expo North America is North America’s largest seafood exposition. Around 1,340 exhibitors offer the newest seafood products, processing and packaging equipment, and services available in the seafood market to an attending audience of more than 22,000, 75 per cent of them from the US market, and the rest from all over the world.
Picture: Chef Mark Greenaway prepares Scottish salmon for the US audience